HR As A Strategy And The Strategy Of HR

The first year students in any professional course are often bewildered by their surroundings and doubtful about their own whereabouts in the beginning of their journey. Human Resource Management as a field has the dual recognition of being an art as well a science. The students of HRMLR (Batch 2017-19) were fortunate to listen to Mr Pramukh Jeyathilak who narrated his experience in the human resource management field. His experience was almost equal to the age of a few students in class – from working in a small recruitment firm, being a part of the first HR team of Accenture, his stint at Microsoft and his current role in developing leadership

at Amazon.

Organizational culture and work flexibility

Great organizations and work cultures are differentiated by their attitude towards their employees. In today’s world, most of the organizations are becoming increasingly capital intensive and technology is no longer the chief differentiating factor, human resources become the USP of an organization. According to Mr. Pramukh, in order to allow the employees to deliver their best for the growth of the organization as well as their personal growth, the organizational tasks must be dealt at two levels:

  1. WHAT is the job? – Must be determined by the organization
  2. HOW will the job be accomplished? – Must be determined by the employees

If you want your organization to be a leader, it is not possible unless your employees feel, think and work like leaders. For the organization to foster such an attitude, the employee must feel valued and must be able to perceive her professional tasks as self-enhancement opportunities. The employees with such heightened levels of organization based self-esteem (OBSE) will not only demonstrate improved levels of productivity but will also evolve to become self-motivated professionals.

The original social milieu of the organization also greatly affects the attitude of the organization towards the ‘talent’ that it emploss. Indian organizations often perceive their employees in a collective setting i.e. they fail to consider and recognise each employee as a unique individual. They view employee efforts as a consolidated movement towards realizing targets set by the bosses, instead of appreciating individual contributions and techniques which help to achieve the goals. On the contrary, western companies like Amazon recognise unique traits in employees and their potential for individual contribution towards realization of organizational roles.

The organizational structure as a facilitator must only determine the nature of the job and not always prescribe a standard procedure for the same. SOPs for the most mundane task to the most important deliverables become Systematic Obliterating Procedures for innovation and creativity.

Stages in the work-life of an HR professional

‘Leadership is a reflection of reaction’, began Mr. Pramukh as he went on to elaborate the stages in the life of an HR professional:

Service Provider – You are told what to do and are expected to deliver


Consultant – You are told what is required and asked how it is to be done


Strategist – you decide how, what and when to do things


As an HR professional, you also move from the role of implementing the ‘what’ to determining the ‘what’. The facilitation of this journey from a service provider to a strategist, incidently, is the sole purpose of this blog being written and read.

Note: These are the excerpts from a guest lecture by Pramukh Jeyathilak, Global HR Lead, Amazon delivered to first year HRMLR students (Batch 2017-19) at TISS


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